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BOSTON -- The Lance Armstrong Foundation said on Thursday it was working to halt sales of counterfeit versions of the "live strong" yellow bracelets, which have raised millions of dollars for the Tour de France winner and cancer survivor's charity, according to Reuters.
Reacting to a newspaper report that found fake replicas on sale at Boston-area convenience stores, the Austin, Texas-based foundation said its lawyers are sending cease-and-desist orders to anyone who violates its trademark.
Some 25 million of the official silicone rubber bracelets have sold since their debut earlier this year, with proceeds funding the charity's efforts to help cancer survivors.
Demand for the bands, which cost $1 each and have been spotted on the wrists of politicians and celebrities, has outstripped supply and has forced the foundation to impose a delay of up to a month on orders.
But the high interest has also offered an invitation for counterfeiters to make easy money -- something the foundation calls illegal and unethical.
The Boston Herald reported on Thursday that fake "live strong" bracelets were selling at three times the cost of the real thing. Some of the counterfeits were exact replicas of the bands, while others sported the words "be strong" instead of the foundation's trademarked logo.
A spokeswoman for Armstrong's foundation could not immediately say how many cease-and-desist orders charity lawyers had issued.
Armstrong, who in July won his record sixth consecutive Tour de France title, overcame testicular cancer after doctors gave him less than a 50 percent chance of survival.